The federal class-action lawsuit, Mattos v. AFSCME Council 3, seeks to recoup “agency” fees paid by Maryland state employees before the US Supreme Court ruled the mandatory fees were unconstitutional.
This article first appeared September 4, 2019 in the Washington Times.
Nineteen public sector employees in Maryland filed a class action against their labor union this week, demanding a refund for dues they were forced to pay before the Supreme Court outlawed the mandatory fees last year.
The employees, who work for counties and the state, argue they are entitled to backpay from the money the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees took from their paychecks since 2016. That’s as far back as Maryland’s statute of limitations allows them to reclaim money.
According to the Liberty Justice Center, which is representing the workers, nearly 10,000 state employees could collect about $7 million from AFSCME if the court rules in their favor.
“For years, thousands of employees for the state of Maryland faced an unconstitutional situation: Pay the union or lose your job. But in 2018, the Supreme Court was very clear that these mandatory union fees violated the U.S. Constitution,” said Patrick Hughes, president of the Liberty Justice Center.